Organisation - April 6, 2017

Jessica Duncan Teacher of the Year 2017 (video)

Vincent Koperdraat

Jessica Duncan is the new Teacher of the Year. This was announced this afternoon by the jury of the education award during a meeting at Impulse. Duncan was chosen because of her commitment to students and her innovative approach to teaching, among other strong characteristics.

Photo: Vincent Koperdraat

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Besides Duncan, who originates from Canada, there were five other nominees: Marleen Buizer, John Beijer, Henry van den Brand, Frits Claassen and Gert Peek. All nominees received a statuette of ‘de Leermeester’ and a monetary prize of 2500 euros.

Jessica Duncan was overwhelmed to have won the education award. ‘I am happy I did not have to hold a speech, as I had not prepared anything. I really did not expect this, especially as the other nominees are really good lecturers too.’

The jury praised all nominees. In Duncan’s case, the way she involves her students in her classes was particularly appreciated, says Jaap Kerr, who was chairman of the jury. ‘She makes sure students are at ease in her lectures. Moreover, she discusses the subjects in a pleasant way, combining them with course material from literature.’

New face
Jessica Duncan is a relatively new face at Wageningen University & Research. She has been teaching at the Rural Sociology group for three years, coordinates three courses and teaches several others. Her background is an unusual combination of food policy and food culture.

Duncan does not know what she will do with her monetary prize yet. Roel Dijksma, who received the award last year, used his prize to set up WURtalks.

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